European Union External Action

Showing local solidarity with refugees in Geneva

15/12/2020 - 00:00
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Today, Ambassador Walter Stevens, Head of the EU Delegation to the UN in Geneva, distributed 600 sanitation kits to refugees in Geneva to show local action and solidarity.

COVID-19 affects us all. It does not care who we are, or where we are:  everyone is at risk. As long as COVID-19 exists somewhere in the world, no one is safe. All over the world people are losing sources of income and finding themselves unable to provide for themselves and their families. The European Union and its Member States, acting together as ‘Team Europe’, are taking comprehensive and decisive action to tackle the destructive impact of COVID-19. Team Europe has been mobilising almost €36 billion to respond to the pandemic.

“We work tirelessly here in Geneva at the World Health Organisation and other UN fora in response to the pandemic. We are all together in this and we need also to take concrete local action. Therefore today, we are in solidarity with people who are living door to door with us, in the same neighbourhood, the same city and distribute sanitation kits to refugees in Geneva,“ says Ambassador Stevens.

Ambassador Stevens met with refugee families from Syria and Afghanistan who explained their long and difficult journeys to Switzerland. They now found safety and a new home at the refugee housing ‘Collectif de Rigot’ at Avenue France, a center established in the heart of the ‘UN neighbourhood’ in September 2019, now welcoming some 370 people from 42 countries.

“Since the opening a bit over a year ago the housing ‘Rigot’ has created a real and concrete link between those who work in the so called ‘Genève Internationale’ and those who fled their countries and found refuge here. I am very happy that these ties develop between neighbours, the Sismondi college, international organisations and today also with the European Union Delegation,” said Thierry Apothéloz, Councillor of the City of Geneva.

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